EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a type of psychotherapy that attempts to alleviate the pain of traumatic or disturbing memories and experiences. When we experience an upsetting or traumatic event it is often not processed or stored correctly in the brain. EMDR taps into those memories and helps to process them correctly so that they cause less distress.
EMDR is conducted in phases. It begins by identifying traumatic and painful experiences, memories and negative self-beliefs. Next, through a process of desensitization, the memories and beliefs are transformed so that they are no longer emotionally disturbing. The last step helps individuals to form positive feelings about themselves and their experiences.
You may wonder if EMDR really works. Approximately 20 controlled studies have researched the effects of EMDR. The studies have consistently found that EMDR decreases and/or eliminates the symptoms of post traumatic stress for the majority of clients. For more information about the research studies, click here.
Is EMDR for you? Research has shown that EMDR is particularly useful for processing traumatic events. It can also be useful for working through painful memories, difficult behavioral issues, and feeling “stuck”. Examples of issues that can be targeted are:
- Panic Attacks
- Performance Anxiety
- Sexual/Physical Abuse
- Sexual/Physical Assault
- Disturbing Memories
- Complicated Grief
- Sexual issues